By no means relaxation on previous laurels, attempt on: PM to Republic Day youngster awardees

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 25

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held personal conversations with 32 winners of National Child Awards 2021 asking them not to rest on past laurels but to strive on. He urged them to not get consumed by the charms of momentary accomplishments.

After an hour of virtual engagement with the children, awarded in the categories of bravery, art, craft and innovation, the prime minister asked them to take three pledges—of humility in success; of consistency in action and of acting for the national good.

He earlier urged children to read biographies saying, “Read one biography every year, of a scientist, a farmer, a writer or anyone. Biographies will inspire you to strive harder in life.”

The PM also exhorted the children to treat awards as one milestone in the long journey called life.

“Award is just a milestone. People will shower you with praises but if you get lost in the momentary joys of success, the same success will become an impediment in your onward march. So do not rest on past laurels, strive on,” he said.

The Women and Child Development Ministry will send cash prizes and e-citations to the awardees this year as they could not travel to New Delhi due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The hallmark of the virtual engagement was the PM’s no-holds-barred discussion with the children on their accomplishments, future dreams and aspirations.

The PM started by interacting with Maharashtra’s Kamya Kartikeya, an avid mountaineer, currently practising in Jammu and Kashmir for her June challenge to scale Mt Denali in North America.

Kartikeya, who earlier found a mention in PM’s Mann ki Baat, told him that she was a first-generation mountaineer from her family and was currently training in Gulmarg.

“I kept training even in COVID times,” she told the PM who hailed her for mountaineering accomplishments despite the pandemic and said, “So you also converted adversity into opportunity.”

Moving on to Karnataka’s Rakesh Krishna, the PM introduced the winner’s unique farm innovation in times when Indian farmers are protesting against the three contentious farm laws.

Krishna’s multipurpose farming machine allows agriculturists to work without farm labourers, reducing farming time manifold and enhancing profits by over 50 per cent.

When the PM asked Krishna if any industry had offered to scale up his innovation he said, “I am working to develop my prototype further.”

Noting that modern agricultural practices were the need of the hour, the PM saluted Krishna for innovating on farming and said, “A society that learns from its children never stagnates.”

Among others the PM engaged was Jharkhand’s archer Savita Kumari; Manipur’s artist Navish Kisham who paints on ecological conservation; UP’s Mohd Shadab, AMU’s class XI student currently stationed in the US and Gujarat’s swimmer Mantra Jitendra Hakhani.

The PM spoke to Hakhani in Gujarati reminiscing his childhood memories of Vadnagar and asked him, “Will you serve me gathiya if I visited you?”

The elated child replied, “I will serve you gathiya and jalebi and tea. Please come.”


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